|10/18/02||Ryan Adams||Set List:||Previous|
|Historic State Theater||Oh My Sweet Carolina||Next|
|Sweet Lil' Gal (23rd/1st)|
|The Fools We Are As Men|
|To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)|
|My Winding Wheel|
|The Rescue Blues|
|When The Stars Go Blue|
|You Will Always Be The Same|
|La Cienega Just Smiled|
|Call Me On Your Way Back Home|
|Come Pick Me Up|
Adams: A magical mystery tour
Special to the Pioneer Press
At the young age of 28, Ryan Adams is at yet another turning point in his career.
He's been through several before. A North Carolina native, Adams began flexing his musical muscle in an alt-punk band (the Patty Duke Syndrome) as a young kid, quickly building a small but loyal following. As he matured, he and some good ol' boys formed Whiskeytown, considered by many to be the quintessential band of the alt-country wave that hit in the 1990s.
After a devastating breakup (at least to the fans), Adams went to New York and went solo, where he suddenly entered the mainstream with the huge success of "Gold." The impressive collection of well-written, soulful ballads, hard-core blues and straight rockers made him the darling of rock critics, drawing comparisons to Paul Westerberg, Gram Parsons and even Bob Dylan.
But press on Adams' latest release, "Demolition," hasn't been so kind. And alleged attitude problems, spats with fans and cursing of the rock industry have turned some rock folk, who now call him a pretty boy, a musical thief and … gasp … a pretentious rock 'n' roller! Such a fast roller-coaster ride, mixed in with some personal tragedies and a die-hard compassion for music, has left Adams at another crossroads of sorts, with an identity crisis and a kind of wonderment as to what's to come.
And he gave a taste of that to a mixed crowd at the State Theatre in Minneapolis on Friday night. The past few times Adams has been in town, his shows have been pretty much straight rock. This time, he turned the State into an intimate club, leaving the band at home and strumming beautiful ballads, busting out some strong blues numbers and even treating the crowd to some powerful piano playing in a short but packed set.
But he did it alone, and he did it his way. And it worked. Just ask the satisfied and unassuming crowd, a mixed pack of die-hards and those who never heard of him until he struck "Gold." The diversity in his past few stops, plus the fact that he won't shy from playing songs from all his albums (even the less successful ones) along with covers, shows that he's still trying to find his identity. Or at least that's what he wants you to think.
Either way, Adams continues to be an intriguing enigma. During his set, he appeared both shy and cocky, playful and serious, intimate and distant, humbled and diva-esque, a boy from the North Carolina countryside and a man from New York City, a dirty blues man and a sophisticated artist. But with every number, he was incredibly fascinating to watch. And yes, he is as sexy as he sounds.
Adams' future is up in the air. (The only assured thing is that he will continue to work hard; he's already working on another album and making plans for a follow-up tour.) But regardless of where the future takes him, Adams' passion for music, his smooth, bluesy voice, his eccentric behavior and his ability to move a crowd in a number of ways will always ensure a huge and loyal following.
Opening acoustic act Teegan and Sarah, twins from Canada, set the stage for an intimate night, pushing tight melodies, personal lyrics and a light and easy rapport with the crowd. However, the highlight of their set was when Adams himself came out to play backup for them. Again, what kind of big-name star does that? What a beautiful enigma.
|Fan Review by Ben Cosgrove:|
|Ryan played with Tegan & Sara for 3 songs (2 on the resonating guitar and one on the piano). The entire show was outstanding. It's great to see Ryan at the top of his game. Bartering Lines, Sylvia Plath, Lovesick Blues, and Come Pick Me Up (which included a group sing-a-long) were excellent and very well received. Ryan did not play or sing along to any records but Chief put on 'Material Girl' as exit music. I can't wait for a recording of this one to surface.|
|Fan Review by Ryan Kirk:|
Another fantastic Ryan Adams concert in Minneapolis. Based on previous
reviews on this tour, this show lacked the usual banter and humor and
Madonna interludes. Rather, it was a tight set interrupted only by Ryan
switching from his seated position stage-center to his standing position
stage-right to his piano stage-left.
It was a packed house, and Ryan controlled the audience right from the start, using the old teacher's trick of singing softly to shut the crowd up and get us leaning forward on our seats to hear the subtleties. He is a masterful performer, and at this show he relied on restraint and his voice to woo the crowd. There were signs posted at the entrances to "respect the artists' wishes and whisper or refrain from speaking during the show." A
rock star asking us to be quiet - I swear he's just toying with us, and we were eating it up! The crowd was full of pent up energy, letting out guffaws and cheers at the slightest break of form. Once of his few comments was right before a beautiful Sylvia Plath on piano: "Two weeks on this tour, and I'm starting to realize how embarrassing these songs really are. I'm going to do a disco album next," Ryan deadpanned. The crowd went nuts, probably laughing harder than the audience at the Jerry Seinfeld gig occurring simultaneously at the near-by Orpheum Theater.
As for the music, Ryan was again outstanding with his trademark vocal variety, seamlessly switching from ballad to blues to country. Also a trademark, he turned his studio songs on their heads for the live performance. To Be Young (is to be sad, is to be high) was turned into an amazing slow bluesy number on a metal resonator guitar. On the falsetto songs, such as When the Stars Go Blue, Ryan kept his voice low and controlled. Chief added very nice guitar layering to a couple of numbers, and the string section complemented several songs, but I'd bet nobody took their eyes or ears of Ryan.
verall, a splendid evening of music. To those who say Ryan Adams has a musical identity crisis going, I say hogwash. It's obvious he knows exactly what he is doing, and the crowd at this show appeared as content as could be (except probably for the unlucky folk who had to sit near a drunk fan who got sick in the aisle mid-show.). Ryan, keep up the variety - we're all along for the ride with smiles.
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